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  • From: Alan Haigh <>
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  • Subject: [nafex] squirrel behavior
  • Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 13:11:02 -0500

I live about 50 miles southeast of Lee in southern NY and share his
experience with the reluctance of grey squirrels to enter live traps. I
remember even using cantilever lethal traps that were affective the first
season but either surviving squirrels were smarter (more cautious) or they
somehow learned to avoid the traps.

Wildlife behaves in variable ways region to region and animal to animal.
For instance, when I first got my shotgun, squirrels would frequently run
up trees for protection when I was onto them. That was the perfect site
for me to pick them off so now they never run up trees but instead scurry
along the ground. I was wondering how they were clever enough to learn
this and seemingly pass it on to the next generation when my son pointed
out that maybe I eliminated the animals who had it in their DNA to run up a
tree during danger. There's a research project just waiting for funding!

Now, if I see a squirrel from a window it leaves in a panic before I get to
the door.

I have seen bucks in some areas near me but heads against fruit trees to
get ripe fruit to drop but they never do that on my property and leave all
fruit above the browse line. Over the years I've seen several other
examples of animal behaviors at one site that aren't duplicated elsewhere.

A good squirrel dog can completely eliminate the problem if the squirrel
must cross ground to get to the fruit. If a dog has a squirrel treed he
may wait until the squirrel drops, however long it takes. In time the
areas squirrels will avoid the trees. But I'm only talking about the grey
and red squirrels in my region.

If you trap the squirrel it is a cruel thing to move it. You can throw in
irresponsible as well, IMO. Experts say the squirrels are likely to be
killed by established populations or starve to death. Throw the trap in
water and the squirrel will drown in a few short moments because of its
high metabolism. I don't recommend killing coons this way, however, unless
you don't mind being cruel- takes them a long time for coons to drown. If
you are going to trap coons, it's best to have at least a high powered
pellet gun and shoot it an inch above the spot between the eyes. I try to
be at least a bit kinder than mother when I need to kill vermin. Of
course, a squirrel probably has a different sense of time than coons.

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